In early 2000, discussions concerning the future of the Colorado Riverfront Trail in Mesa County, Colorado were stalling. Elizabeth Harris, dean of the Western Colorado Botanical Gardens at the time, quietly asked, “Why don’t you guys do something about tamarisk?”
John Heideman, Jude Sirota and Pete Larson graciously accepted the challenge. The core group met numerous times over the next two years, growing in number and experience. The group named themselves the Tamarisk Coalition and achieved legal status in January 2002. With Pete Larson as the first president, the Tamarisk Coalition vowed to “provide technical assistance and education to begin the task of restoring riparian lands.”
Among the co-founders was Tim Carlson, a professional engineer with a long career of tackling prickly environmental issues in the west. Tim took on the duties of Executive Director and has guided the Coalition through its critical formative years. Under Tim's leadership membership jumped quickly from 125 to 2,500 with in the first 6 years and the Coalition expanded representation from western Colorado to include all 17 western states, several Tribal governments, two Canadian provinces, and Mexico.
As the geographic boundaries of the Tamarisk Coalition began to expand beyond the Colorado Riverfront trail system, so did the vision of the Coalition.
The Tamarisk Coalition maintains partnerships with many federal, state, and community organizations throughout North America and aspires to continue seeking out new relationships to work for the health of western rivers. Clear vision and steadfast progress has led to a solid base of accomplishments bringing the Coalition closer to the fulfillment of its mission.
Click the link below to download the Strategic Plan [PDF] and/or the executive summary [PDF] and learn about the TC's vision, mission, values, goals, objectives, and strategies.